Bill walked into my client’s fitness studio clutching two things: a book and a small piece of paper.
With a sheepish look, he revealed, “My doctor gave me your book and this script to contact you. That was almost a year ago, and I haven’t gotten it done. Until now.”
After discussing his fitness goals and health concerns, Bill pulled out a pen and inked a check for a full year of private training.
It took months to get him in the door … and just 15 minutes to close the sale.
The Long Game
Good marketing is about helping people invest in something they’ll be glad they did. If you are selling a $40 product, the sale is relatively easy. But when you’re offering a lifestyle change, complex emotions are involved.
Bill delayed, but when he was ready, he knew exactly where to go and what to do. My client understood marketing for the long game.
Since our ideal prospects often encounter our message before they’re ready to buy, marketing for the long game focuses on two key strategies:
- Helping prospects make a decision sooner.
- Ensuring they choose you.
Inspire: Lead with Story
One of the most powerful devices in your marketing toolkit should be storytelling.
Specifically, storytelling that creates the emotions you want your prospects to feel and associate with your offer: joy, hope, urgency, victory, etc.
It’s these emotions that drive our powerful unconscious mind to make conscious decisions that make us feel good.
What goes into a good inspiring story?
My two favorite books on this topic are Michael Hauge’s Storytelling Made Easy and Donald Miller’s Building a StoryBrand.
The most critical elements shared in these books come down to four key points:
- Show your character is a normal person.
- Share the crisis that changed their thinking.
- Describe their journey with you as their guide.
- Show the reward of their victory.
Even a short 5-sentence testimonial can cover all four of these elements and drive your prospects’ desire to get started.
The more you share stories, the more you can inspire your audience with emotions they will associate with your brand for the long-term.
Encourage: Build Their Confidence
As a publisher, I encounter a lot of business authors who are anxious to write a 200-page book filled with overwhelming details.
Features and facts great for a small portion of the population, but the vast majority of buyers get overwhelmed by analysis paralysis and walk away “to think about it for a little longer”.
Good marketing is educating your prospect to the point they’ve got the confidence to begin your process… but not so much that they gain a false confidence they should be able to do a version of it on their own.
If you truly believe your services offer value they can’t achieve without you, then make sure your marketing doesn’t imply they should try.
Build their confidence in the benefits of your proven process, not the details or the data.
Equip: Help Them Start Simple
Overwhelmed people don’t buy, and confused people don’t start so if you want to make getting started easier, make it simple.
My team and I have been doing this for years within the fitness industry, using 100-page books explicitly designed to convert prospects into clients.
The books are lead magnets, turning the authors into fitness authorities and local celebrities.
They educate without overwhelming; giving readers an idea of who they’ll meet at the studio, what to wear, what to take with them, what to eat (or not eat), and what to expect in their workout sessions (and why). Vital details that can close a sale faster.
Now, think about your company.
Remove the fear-of-the-unknown obstacle by showing potential customers exactly what to expect in their first few visits.
If you’re marketing online, demonstrate – screen by screen – the buying and login process before they click the “buy now” button.
When you clarify exactly what to expect and what to do first, you make the process easier.
And that matters.
Take the Lead
When you understand that marketing is a long game, it transforms your marketing strategy.
Spend time developing assets that stand the test of time; particularly those you can build once and reuse over and over.
An inspirational talk (or webinar), a compelling book, and a thoughtful email onboarding campaign are all reusable assets that give you time to inspire, encourage, and equip people to say yes to life-changing decisions.
Nicole Gebhardt loves marketing, books, and key lime pie. She is the CEO of Niche Pressworks, a consulting and publishing services company for experts, speakers, coaches, consultants, and business leaders. Learn more about her 3-book strategies inside “The Ultimate Book Plan” at NichePressworks.com